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A Glittering, Glamorous Mid-Century Pad Is For Sale

Modernist Australia

The only thing better than an original mid-century home, is an original mid-century home that’s been masterfully cared for. This terrace-wrapped apartment in Caulfield North has it all! From bamboo cabinetry, herringbone floors, a lush green outlook and steel-framed windows, this place is is the dream combo of heritage charm with respectful, modern updates. You had us at the coloured glass stairwell!

It’s currently for sale, so naturally we turned to Trish Callan of Modernist Australia for her expert take.

5th October, 2021

Glass windows have been fortified with steel frames, bracing the lush green outlook that surrounds the apartment. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

Courtesy of a wrap-around terrace and extensive glazing, the apartment is constantly flooded with light. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

The current owners have filled the apartment with pieces that match its mid-century timestamp, such as light fittings and benchtops. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

Light filters in from all corners. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

The study is a gorgeous mix of deep, dark tones and light portals. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

The best corner in the house! How good are those floorboards? Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

The owner’s salon wall in the study. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

A lush green outlook from the bedroom. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

Colour glass details on the terrace balcony mirror the same material in the building’s stairwell. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

A moody and contemporary bathroom. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

zThe entry stairwell is encased in coloured glass windows. Photo – courtesy of Tomassi + Co.

Patricia Callahan
Tuesday 5th October 2021

Returning to the geographic wellspring of what we’ve dubbed Marvellous Migrant Modern Melbourne! Today, we are thrilled to get a peek at a super glam do-up of a local landmark.

This post-war townhouse, within a complex of two, was designed and constructed around Melbourne’s bold Olympic blush of 1956, where newly arrived faces with dynamic minds began to carve out their own place in the city. Though the architect as is as yet unknown, this startling example of international modernist architecture built for European sensibilities was purchased by the present owner from the original ten years ago. They immediately set to work on a renovation that would marry contemporary elements with a celebration of local heritage.

Beginning with the oft overlooked grit of rewiring, plumbing and a demolition of a tired 80s kitchen, they turned up the dial on the light-filled and generous spaces with new cork, bold tile, crafted joinery and lovely furniture pieces. Each decision guided by the mid-century motifs and materials of the original residence, from the triangular etchings in the entry doors to the daring pop of colour in the stairwell.

Underpinning it all is the lifestyle of a city-dweller. This is a home to gather friends (one day soon people, hold on!) to enjoy the sun at all hours, as well as becoming a soundproof nest for quiet Sunday comedowns or an easy Tuesday meal.

As such, it is a real ‘townhouse’. Its utilisation of space, material and design offers an elegant, medium-density option for a lifetime, a far cry from so many plaster and foam, profit-driven piles of thoughtlessness we see filling the spaces of once huge, green, urban allotments.

So, kudos to the owner and their vision, for we know this long-awaited appreciation and respect for such historical brilliance now grows steadily by the day.

2/5 Norwood Road, Caulfield North will be sold via auction on Sunday, October 24th at 11:00am. See the listing here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net